Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Recovering the Kingdom


We head out of Hamilton towards the Maungakawa Hills in the unaccustomed comfort of a nearly-new Renault station wagon. The day is already hot, but our vehicle is filled with cool air. The engine hums obsequiously, and some miracle of mechanics means we seem to float half a metre or so above the thick smooth tar of Gordonton Road. The little grey screen mounted on the dashboard is speaking in a voice which seems to combine the relaxed vowels of antipodean English with the faintly ebullient lilt favoured by receptionists in American hotels and offices.

The landscape of the central Waikato basin might have been designed with the principles of GPS in mind. With its straight, well-signposted roads, regularly-spaced villages, regularly-proportioned farm blocks, and views unobstructed by hills or tall buildings or bush, the area allows for maximum motoring efficiency. Turn right at Highway Extension 1B the mid-Pacific accent tells us, as a picket fence turns into a precisely-trimmed privet hedge. Turn right in 0.2 kilometres. Despite its pedantry, the voice makes its orders sound like suggestions. “I like her”, Skyler’s Dad told us, as he explained how the little grey box works. “She never gets cross, no matter how many mistakes I make.”

But as we head east, beyond the lifestyle blocks and horse studs and garden shop cafes of Surrey-on-the-Waikato and onto Te Miro Road, the landscape begins to malfunction, and the GPS malfunctions along with it. Low, scrub-brown hills block our view of the next village, and beside the road plane trees and oaks turn to maimed macrocarpas and flailing cutty grass. The road itself soon turns to gravel, so that the Renault seems to crash land. The machine on the dashboard has become confused. Recalculate. Recalculate. Turn off Te Miro Road…

We have reached the edge of the Maungakawa Hills, which occupy a roughly triangular area between the towns of Cambridge in the south, Matamata in the east, and Morrinsville in the north, and which rise to a height of fifteen hundred feet. The northern Maungakawas include Te Miro, a block of land which the government in Wellington consolidated in 1916, and awarded, via a widely-contested ballot, to forty solider-settlers – veterans of World War One, and not necessarily adepts at sheep or dairy farming – in 1918. World War One veterans struggled with balloted land in other parts of New Zealand – the soft sliding papa soil of the upper Mokau and Whanganui districts tormented many, and the frosts and isolation of the Hunua and Waitakere Ranges undid others – but Te Miro’s colonists prospered, and were eventually able to raise a school, a sawmill, and a hall.

But these hills had earlier inhabitants, and other names. Ignoring GPS, we follow Te Miro Road around a corner and up a hill covered in scores of basalt boulders. Rocks like these are said to mark an ancient urupa of Ngati Haua, a Tainui people who have made parts of the Maungakawas their base for centuries. Ngati Haua’s great nineteenth century leader Wiremu Tamihana was nicknamed ‘the Kingmaker’ because of the way he helped convince the many peoples of Tainui to support the establishment of the Waikato Kingdom in the middle of the nineteenth century. Tamihana was born on Maungakawa pa, which stood in the north of the range, on its highest peak. In the 1860s some of his followers established a new village near the pa; the settlement was called Rewehetiki, and its centerpiece was a large flour mill with scoria grindstones and a flow of water ensured by an earth dam. The mill at Rewehetiki was only one of dozens created by the Kingites in the 1850s and 1860s, as they exported huge amounts flour and other agricultural products to the Pakeha population of Auckland. In July 1863 the property-speculators and would-be run-holders of Auckland’s upper class got their way, and Governor George Grey launched an invasion of the Waikato Kingdom Wiremu Tamihana had so done much to create. After the forces of King Tawhiao had been bested in battles at Rangiriri, Paterangi, and Orakau, the Ngati Haua retreated south with the other Waikato peoples, into the region of mountains and gorges nowadays known as the King Country.

The conquerors of the Waikato appropriated vast parts of the region, including its tens of thousands of acres of wheat fields and market gardens, but they ignored a few pieces of territory which were hilly, or isolated, or both. The northern part of the Maungakawas remained largely in Maori hands, and when Tawhiao led his people out of exile in the south in 1881 he selected the area as one of the bases from which he might be able to re-establish his influence in the Waikato.

The Maungakawa Hills might seem insignificant, when set beside New Zealand’s many ranges of real mountains, but they lie between the central Waikato basin and the Hauraki Plains, and this context can make them seem almost precipitous. The little peaks of the Maungakawa offered Tawhiao unrestricted views of the fertile lands he had fought for and lost, as well as the flimsy Pakeha fortress towns at Hamilton and Cambridge.

Tawhiao had renounced the use of violence when he crossed the Puniu River at the northern edge of the King Country and entered the conquered Waikato, but he had not abandoned his commitment to Maori nationalism. He demanded the return of confiscated territory, and particularly of Ngaruawahia, the capital and spiritual centre of the Kingdom he had defended in 1863. In the northern Maungakawas and in other fragments of his old domain, Tawhiao strove to rebuild the sort of nationalist institutions which had characterised the Waikato Kingdom.

One of the smaller, less-publicised exhibits in Never a Dull Moment, the rather sanguine retrospective of Hamilton history which the Waikato museum has been holding for months, is a bank note as delicate and as elaborately patterned as a tropical butterfly. Using red, yellow, green, blue, and black ink, covered in baroque abstract patterns as well as tiny drawings of a flax plant and a cross-shaped flower, and featuring the slogan ‘Whaimana ana tenei moni ki nga tangata’ (‘This money is valid for all people’), the kotahi pauna (one pound) note was issued by Te Peeke o Aotearoa (the Bank of Aotearoa) in the name of ‘Tawhiao, Kingi’. A caption tells museum visitors that the note was printed ‘in the 1860s’; in fact, it was produced decades later. In ‘Te Peeke o Aotearoa: the Bank of King Tawhiao’, an essay he published in the Journal of New Zealand History in 1992, Stuart Park reveals that the Kingitanga’s bank was founded in the second half of the 1880s, and operated at Rewehetiki in the northern Maungakawas. (Tawhiao’s bank also had branches at Maungatautari, the mountain which rises south of the Maungakawas, on the far side of Cambridge and the Waikato River, and at Perewera, a settlement south of Te Awamutu.)

As well as hosting Te Peeke o Aotearoa, Rewehetiki became the site, in the early nineties, of Te Kauhanganui, the parliament of the Kingite movement, and of the printing press which produced Te Paki o Matariki (The Girdle of Pleiades), the official newspaper of the movement. The functions of these institutions were carefully connected. Te Kauhanganui passed laws and levied taxes, Te Paki o Matariki made these laws and taxes known to Tawhiao’s still-scattered followers, and Te Peeki o Aotearoa was a place where the income the King received from levies and fines and the like could be stored.

Tawhiao never sought a charter for his bank from bureaucrats in Wellington, and his parliament proclaimed the absolute independence of his fractured kingdom. Pakeha hunters who visited the forested hilltops and gullies of the northern Maungakawas were confronted by Tawhiao’s policemen, and asked to pay a small tax in return for shooting at the king’s pigs. When Pakeha authorities attempted to impose a hated tax on Maori-owned dogs at the end of the nineteenth century, the Kingites denied the legitimacy of the levy, and appointed the chief Te Mete Raukawa ‘Registrar of Dogs’ for their kingdom. Kingites were jailed for registering their dogs with Raukawa, rather than with Pakeha authorities.

Tawhiao’s propensity for independence extended to metaphysics: sceptical of the entreaties of Papist and Wesleyan missionaries, and angrily aware of the blessing that August Selwyn, the megalomaniacal father of New Zealand Anglicanism, had given to the invasion of the Waikato in 1863, the King established his own official religion by developing the heretical mixture of Christianity and traditional Maori belief promulgated by the Taranaki prophet Te Ua in the 1860s.

Near Te Miro Hall the road seems to lose confidence, and splits in three directions. The long, low, bush-stained slopes of hills slide away to the east and to the south. We are a couple of kilometers from Rewehetiki, which is nowadays a set of hummocks in a corner of a sheep and dairy farm run by the Muirhead family. In 1898 a burn-off by a Pakeha farmer got out of control, and a wind blew the flames into Te Kauhanganui. Apart from a carved pou edged with ash which is nowadays displayed at the Waikato museum, the parliament was destroyed. A few cheques issued by Te Peeki o Aotearoa were found amongst the rubble of Te Kauhanganui by a teenage Pakeha girl sometime early in the twentieth century, and in 1958 the Muirhead family pulled the printing press which produced Te Paki o Matariki from a gully, and gifted it to the Cambridge Historical Society.

Even before the loss of Te Kauhanganui the Rewehetiki settlement had been in decline, as the attention of Tawhiao and his successor Mahuta turned to other parts of the Waikato. Some sources blame a 1895 influenza epidemic for the emptying of Rewehetiki, but Stuart Park argues that Tawhiao and Mahuta were wary of the site’s close association with Ngati Haua, and of the power of Wiremu Tamihana’s son Tupu Taingakawa, who had been elected President of the Waikato Kingdom at Te Kauhanganui in the early 1890s. In 1912 Taingakawa established a new Kingite parliament at Rukumoana, a Ngati Haua marae outside Morrinsville, at the northern edge of the Maungakawas, but King Mahuta seldom visited it. The building, which also bore the name Te Kauhanganui, was nevertheless used occasionally until 1944, when a parliament was created in Ngaruawahia, the ancient capital Princess Te Puea and her followers had resettled after World War One.

I type REWEHETIKI into the GPS machine, and receive the inevitable answer. Location not recognised. Reselect. The little grey box on our dashboard may not be interested, but the stronghold Tawhiao established in the 1880s deserves to be remembered. Rewehetiki may seem a marginal, historically irrelevant place, but it reinforces a crucial lesson about Maori history which most Pakeha are yet to learn.

For the first half of the twentieth century, commentators and historians generally held the view that Maori had suffered a ‘savage decline’ in the decades after the wars of the 1860s. Devastated on the battlefield, deprived of land and mana, and cursed by influenza, smallpox, and gin, Maori became a marginalised, degraded people, who were only saved from extinction by the insistence of ‘modernisers’ like Apirana Ngata that they enter the mainstream of Pakeha life. Keith Sinclair challenged the ‘savage decline’ thesis in the 1960s, pointing out that institutions like Kingitanga survived the wars, and continued to press for Maori autonomy. Many scholars have amplified Sinclair’s points about post-war survival, and James Belich has shown that the wars themselves were not anywhere near as one-sided as commentators and historians once imagined. Despite all these scholarly labours, though, the ‘savage decline’ thesis remains popular amongst the Pakeha public. Maori are still widely viewed as a defeated people, who in the aftermath of the 1860s abandoned any idea of separate development, let alone independence, and gratefully accepted Pakeha hegemony. The Treaty process of recent decades and features of biculturalism like Maori language programmes have been treated as symptoms of a ‘politically correct’ conspiracy of liberal Pakeha intellectuals and a handful of foreign-backed Maori ‘radicals’, rather than as the latest chapter in an uninterrupted history of a Maori push for autonomy and separate development.

The story of Tawhiao’s restoration of his sovereignty in the northern Maungakawas in the 1880s mocks the old thesis of Maori acceptance of Pakeha hegemony. Decades after the Kingitanga was supposedly irrevocably defeated at Paterangi and Orakau, Tawhiao and his followers emerged from their exile in the south and took up residence in these hills and in other fragments of the old kingdom, establishing a set of institutions – a bank, a currency, a police force, a parliament – which represented, together, a concerted symbolic attack on the authority of the settler state. Rewehetiki may have been abandoned, but new footholds were established elsewhere, further north, and ultimately the Kingitanga returned to their old capital at Ngaruawahia.

At the same time that Tawhiao was making the northern Maungakawas into a base for the advance of his movement, a hill at the southern end of the range was becoming a strange monument to settler capitalism. In 1868 Daniel Thornton, a Briton whose family had become wealthy building wool mills in Russia, purchased four thousand hectares of the Maungakawas with the intention of growing wheat. Thornton died suddenly on a business trip to Russia, but his widow and children chose to stay in the Maungakawas, and in 1890 they built a rambling faux-Tudor mansion on the summit of Pukemako, a thirteen-hundred foot high hill overlooking Cambridge. Walnut trees, magnolias, bamboo, and scores of other exotic species filled the garden which sprawled down the hill from the Thornton home.

In 1903 the cautiously progressive government of Richard Seddon bought the Thornton mansion and its chaotic grounds, and established New Zealand’s first tuberculosis sanatorium at Pukemako. The mansion became a series of dormitories, and cribs were built for additional patients on the slopes of the hill. During World War One, the consumptives did their bit for queen and country by surrendering their magic mountain to the army, which used it to house damaged veterans of the Western Front. In 1922 the sanatorium closed. Most of its buildings were demolished or removed, and all attempts to control the garden the Thorntons had fomented were abandoned. We follow a narrowing road up Pukemako. Elderly macrocarpas and magnolias wheeze and shiver on either side of the gravel, blocking views of the plains and turning the sunlight a rotten shade of green. We park beside a ruined storehouse covered in curiously chaste graffiti. JESUS LOVES YOU, one visitor has scratched; NOTHING IS AS OLD AS YESTERDAY, another has mused. The foundations of other buildings have been softened by marram grass; the fireplace of a long-demolished crib is coated in ashes, and smells faintly of pork sausages. I walk away from these ruins, into the garden liberated in 1922, but a thicket of embracing camellia bushes soon blocks my way. When I poke at one of the overgrown shrubs a huge red eye weeps a rotting petal. After wriggling through the shrubbery like a dog, I emerge to a view of the Waikato basin – of a gravel-coloured river, and black shining roads, and hay bales sprinkled about like lego bricks, and glasshouse windows winking in the sun – which is so detailed, so apparently exhaustive, that it feels panoptic rather than majestic. Closer to the summit, a walnut tree of extravagant dimensions stands beside a karaka covered in lichen as thick and silvery as tin foil wrapper. An expensive-looking signboard introduces Pukemako as ‘Sanatorium Hill’, and explains that benevolent organisations like the Cambridge Rotary Club and the Cambridge Lions have sought to honour the site by adorning it with picnic tables, and by cutting a track through the bush on its southern slope. I head down the track, and find raiders from the wild garden – walnut trees, and camellias and rhododendrons, and bamboo stalks with sharp splintered ends – dominating its edges, with natives lurking back in the gloom, behind impregnable layers of rata vine. As the track drops lower, though, the exotics disappear, and karaka and manuka and puriri step forward. Perhaps here, too, a kingdom is being recovered.

27 Comments:

Blogger Chris Trotter said...

You are a clever man, Maps. These careful blendings of history and personal observation are deeply subversive of traditional Pakeha attitudes (my own included).

Like the very best historical writing, yours manages to peel back the outer skins of our national identities, revealing the sinew and muscle that lies beneath.

Only thus do we begin to understand what moves us.

Keep 'em coming!

9:02 am  
Anonymous internationalist said...

I am more concerned with the problems of Pakistan.

Prioritise.

NZ = tiny country at the bottom of the world!

2:36 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Thanks Chris. If you're down in Cambridge at some stage, you (and other readers of this blog interested in New Zealand left history) might be interested in checking out the local museum's attempts to remember the Great Strike of 1913.

Whilst other recent commemorations of that event, like the exhibition Mark Derby curated in Welington and the collection of essays Melanie Nolan edited, have tended to take, at best, a coolly neutral attitude to the activities of the drunken farmers on horseback who were 'Massey's cossacks', Cambridge has, it seems, decided to honour them as something akin to war heroes!

The museum is collecting the names of local cow cockies who bashed the wharfies and other workers from the safety of horseback, and placing them in a roll of honour! I don't know whether to admire the museum's interest in the Great Strike, which is an event which nowadays seems mostly to engage only big city leftists and academics, or whether to deplore its attempt to beautify the role of the cossacks...

11:09 pm  
Anonymous Roamin' Sandals said...

nga mihi o te tau hou e Maps.

your comments about the banknotes produced in the late 19th century reminded me of when I first saw an image of a One Pound note issued by the Bank of NZ in 1929.

I saw it in the online collection of the British Museum which described the note as featuring the portrait of "a Maori Chief".

This chief was quite easily recognisable (or perhaps I am biased as a Tainui descendant) as King Tawhiao.

I was taken at the idea of our second Maori monarch featuring on the note, rather than the British ruling Monarch getting pride of place, and Tawhiao also featured on the first notes produced for circulation across the various trading banks of NZ.

It wasn't until 1940 that King Tawhaio stopped appearing on our banknotes - replaced by an image of Captain Cook...

10:13 am  
Blogger maps said...

That's fascinating, isn't it? I wonder whether the use of Tawhiao was part of the whole tendency of Pakeha culture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to appropriate Maori imagery and motifs? Those were the days, after all, when Pakeha commonly referred to their country as 'Maoriland'. Did Tawhiao also appear on some old, predecimal coins? I think I vaguely remember a few floating about in my childhood.

Stuart Page's essay on Te Peeke o Aotearoa is in part a polemic against those commentators - most of them were settlers writing for Victorian newspapers - who ridiculed the bank, and argued that it never did any serious business. Park argues that the bank was a going concern, but he says that it dealt mostly with cheques that were payable in 'official' currency. The 'Maori' banknotes were probably never widely distributed, and they are extremely rare (and quite valuable!) today.

12:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nga mihi o te tau hou, te tau o te rapiti (e kii ana nga hainamana)ki a koe koorua ko Skyler Maps.
Pai rawa taau mahi i konei.

"Did Tawhiao also appear on some old, predecimal coins? I think I vaguely remember a few floating about in my childhood."

Ki taaku moohio, ehara i a Tawhiao i nga mano o mua. He teetahi toa e mau ana i te taiahi kee.

There is a Maori warrio on the old shilling. Doesn't look like Tawhiao.
He was on a stamp though.

Naa,

Farrell

5:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAPS IS JUST A MONKEY HOPING FOR EVOLUTION HA HA HA HA

6:17 pm  
Blogger Marty Mars said...

Thanks Maps for an extraordinary post - I continue to learn so much here.

9:23 am  
Anonymous Leek said...

"...the ‘savage decline’ thesis remains popular amongst the Pakeha public. Maori are still widely viewed as a defeated people..."


These kinds of generalisations are so easy to make. What exactly does "popular" and "widely" denote in this context? Do you believe a majority of Pakeha are deadset in these views? If so, how could this be actually proved? I do not believe a tiny minority of talkback callers and bloggers espousing such views can be taken as representative.

4:08 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Hi Leek,

I've just been reading yet another crude, hysterical attack on 'Maori radicals' in the local rag out here, in the farming district where I grew up and where my parents still live. and so am inclined to respond to your argument with a sigh and an 'if only'...

I certainly do believe most Pakeha interpet the nineteenth century wars and their aftermath as an unequivocal defeat for Maori, and don't realise the institutional continuity between today's iwi and pan-iwi organisations and the nationalist organisations of the nineteenth century.

The very hostile response to James Belich's TV series on the New Zealand Wars, which argued that those conflicts were far less one-sided than had been believed, is one sign of Pakeha incomprehension. The success which Don Brash had in presenting today's push for biculturalism as something new and dangerous - as the work of a cabal of Maori 'radicals' and 'politically correct' Pakeha liberals - is another sign.

I'm not sure if you've looked at the back pages of this blog, but if you haven't, you might like to check out stuff like the recent quite long-winded debate we had with John Ansell of the Coastal Coalition to get a sense of the depth of Pakeha incorrigibility on this issue. I try to cheer myself up by telling myself that the Afrikaaners and the Caldoche are probably worse...

4:47 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Hi Leek,

I don't really agree with the understanding of research methods that seems to lie behind your argument here.

I quite agree that there is a speculative element to general statements about the opinions of large numbers of people, but I don't think we can actually dispense with such statements.

When I make a general statement I'm throwing out a hypothesis, an opening gambit, which others are free to revise or even overturn completely. There are certainly people who comment here - Chris Trotter is an obvious example - who would, if they had the time and the inclination, contest the generalisation I made and throw forward their own interpretation of Pakeha public opinion and its validity. Out of that sort of clash of opinions knowledge (hopefully) grows.

Your view, if I understand it correctly, is that we should refrain from making generalisations until we have 'scientific' evidence which justifies these generalisations.

I agree with you about the importance of gathering evidence. I'd argue, though, that evidence can only be gathered on the basis of hypotheses - one throws out a theory and then sees whether reality measures up.

I think that to believe that 'scientific' activity consists of 'objectively' gathering data, without having any preconceptions and hypotheses, and then turning this data into a set of generalisations, is to succumb a sort of naive empiricism which hasn't been taken seriously by philosophers of science for two hundred years.

7:12 pm  
Blogger maps said...

The contribution from Leek I was replying to with my last comment doesn't appear to have turned up in this thread, though my e mail box tells me it came through the blog. Here it is, anyway:

'Maps,

From what I can gather, your belief that "most Pakeha interpet the nineteenth century wars and their aftermath as an unequivocal defeat for Maori" is based upon impressions gained from public discourse - books, letters to newspapers, blogs, etc. - in relation to certain events and key issues. I find it highly contentious that public discourse correlates in any simple way with the actual opinions of the wider populace.

Of course, it can be taken as a measure of the thoughts of those paid or disposed to air their opinions in public. Such discourse may to some extent reflect audience taste(e.g. in the case of a commercial radio station) and be one influence on people's belief formation (along with family background, cultural influences, peers, and personal experience), but it is wise to treat public discourse as distinct from actual public opinion. A rigourous, scientific opinion survey would be a good guide to the latter - but then again, such surveys are only "snapshots" and have various other methodological shortcomings.

There are various reasons why I don't believe Pakeha are quite so ill-informed as you argue. Some are impressionistic and based on personal experience, like yours. But I would also propose that the immense popularity of Belich's TV series and book (which has never been out of print as far as I can tell), as well as that of Michael King's recent Penguin History, is a far better indicator of broad public opinion. Have any of Belich or King's critics sold similar quantities?

While I would not deny there are diehard Pakeha who hold the views you identify - probably hundreds of thousands - I would question your basic assumption. You really cannot know what the majority of 3 million Pakeha actually think. I wonder if you would presume to say what most Maori people think?'

7:15 pm  
Anonymous Leek said...

Maps,

You don't need to be quite so patronising.

I understand that assumptions are part and parcel of critical enquiry. I have challenged the basis of your assumption(that public discourse can not be automatically correlated with public opinion) and presented contrary evidence (the high popularity of the Belich and King histories). You have not addressed these and instead invoke "naive empiricism".

I would contend that, based on personal experience, that Pakeha attitudes toward Maori sovereignty are vastly more diverse and complicated than your belief (prejudice?) would admit. This area is certainly worthy of far more research than has carried out until this stage.

8:52 pm  
Blogger maps said...

I don't mean to be patronising Leek - I just think you're setting up some pretty tough strictures. It does seem to me like you want to privilege a model of intellectual enquiry which shuts out anything a little bit qualitative, and denies the importance of the sensibility of the enquirer.

We can't infer public attitudes from public discourse? What counts as public discourse? What discourse isn't public? And what's wrong with a little impressionism? We exist as subjects in a particular place and time and, as Gadamer notes, we can only begin our research from the presuppositions our age and location has given us.

I know there have been statistical surveys of prejudice in New Zealand, but I don't see why they are necessarily more interesting and epistemologically sound than, say, surveys of letters to the editors of newspapers, or of comments on blogs, or even the experiences of individuals. Cluny MacPherson's surveys of racial prejudice against Pacific Islanders in the
'70s may be important evidence of Pakeha racism, but so is the autobiographical fiction Albert Wendt was writing at the time.

Some of the great scholarly studies of ideology and public consciousness have been based upon very small samples.

I don't deny, of course, that people can say very foolish things when they generalise poorly from their experience, or let their imaginations run wild, or rely on a few sources which they interpret foolishly.

Equally, though, quantitative research of the sort you seem to be prioritising can lead to disasters. A classic example must be the econometric research into slavery which was very fashionable in the '70s, and which saw scholars like Engerine and Fogel calculating the number of whippings each slave received per annum, and the comparative rate of exploitation between a slave and a poor white worker, and completely losing any empathy with their subjects.

You raise fair points about Belich and King which I'll reply to in a bit...

10:51 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

The Belich series on the NZ Wars on TV was great. Interesting post Scott.

But a map would help (me at least as my Geography is not good) I don't know any or many of these places.

BTW GPS wouldn't work if it hadn't been for the results of Einstein's relativity theory and equations for space-time. Lol. But it looks as though your computer was a bit stupid not knowing (whatever the place was) was...!

12:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The start of the races can be found in Genesis 11. Everyone spoke the same language, but because of the incidents that happened in this chapter, God mixed up all the languages. People who spoke this language went off and started their own community, and people who spoke another all banded together and went off and started another one someplace else. Now as to the different colours etc, I don't think there is anything in scriptures stating how that came about.

7:24 am  
Blogger maps said...

Just to recap: I'm arguing that the vast majority of Pakeha do not consider that Maori are a nation with pan-tribal institutions that stretch back to the period before the wars of the 1860s and an unbroken desire for greater autonomy from the New Zealand state, or even for full independence from that state.

There are liberal and conservative wings of Pakeha opinion, with the conservatives rejecting and liberals endorsing the Treaty and notions of biculturalism, but not even the vast majority of the liberals question the legitimacy of the New Zealand state. They see the acknowledgment of the Treaty as a way of grounding and securing that state.

The seabed and foreshore issue exposes the rift between the Maori and Pakeha attitudes toward the state. As we saw in 2004, when the seabed and foreshore legislation passed by Labour prompted a very large hikoi, many Maori do not identify their interests with the interests of the New Zealand state in even the most basic way. They see state ownership as theft, while even most left-wing Pakeha see the state as something which is essentially colourblind. Maori who called for iwi control of the seabed and foreshore counterposed that control with state ownership, and thereby harked back to the politics of Tawhiao et al.

What does the popularity of Belich's and King's books tell us? Belich's book and TV series on the wars of the nineteenth century steered away from politics and focused on the battlefield. Even so it aggravated many Pakeha.

King's history of New Zealand was a publishing sensation, but its success had a great deal to do with the author's tragic and sudden and very widely publicised death and with the softer, more sentimental stance he adopted towards race relations and New Zealand history in general in his final years. His attempt in his last years to present Pakeha as a 'second indigenous people' angered many Maori, and his frequent attempts to downplay both racial and class conflict in his Penguin History - the last sentences of the book are a good example of this tendency - and to promote a feel-good nationalism probably helped make the text so popular.

3:51 am  
Anonymous Jono said...

Belich just didnt piss off a segment of Pakeha society with his book/TV series. Te Ruki Kawiti's great grandson still holds a very strong grudge against Belich for promoting the particular revision that Kawiti set a trap for the British at the rear of Ruapekapeka, as opposed to the traditional narrative which saw the perfidious Brits attacking on the sabbath while Kawiti and his taua were at prayer.

I gave a paper at the NZAA conference in Westport based on thoughts about Ruapekapeka which have bubbled around inside my head for several years. The abstract follows, but doesnt say much:

"Accounts of the battle of Ruapekapeka Pa have tended to focus on the size and innovation of the fortification, in contrast to typical (or classic) Maori defensive works and approaches to warfare. In her 2003 book Taua, Angella Ballara followed the threads of Maori warfare from the mid to late prehistoric period into the early historic period and the co-called musket wars and described a continuity in Maori approaches to warfare, adapted to the use of muskets but by no means characterised by them. This paper identifies elements of continuity in the battle of Ruapekapeka of 1845-46 (which takes place shortly after Ballara concludes her study). It uses archaeological and historical sources to suggest an evolution rather than a revolution in Maori warfare, and that  for the combatants, adaptation  to fit the new circumstances went both ways".

Since then it has been fascinating to go through Smithyman's Atua Wera, slowly, time and toddler allowing, and follow the historical threads he weaves together (I assume Fred Manning is the main source for the parts dealing with the northern war and the role of Papahurihia/Atua Wera/Te Ngakihi). I hadn't really considered the non-material adaptations which might have been in play during the war!

It seems strange to me that in my reasonably extensive reading about the northern war I havent yet come across anything which canvasses the depth of involvement of Maori prophetic/millenial religious thought. Heke's involvement with Atua Wera/Papahurihua/Te Ngakahi is fascinating given his apparantly honest (albeit troubled) Christian faith and deep and personal relationship with Henry Williams.

Its interesting to note the flag flying at Ruapekapeka as described by Cyprian Bridge featured the star and crescent moon (on a field of red and white), that prominent motif of Maori millenialism and independence.

Also, I have forwarded a link to your original post to Stuart Park but he is on holiday for another week. Maybe he will drop in and comment, as he is an interesting and gregarious fellow.

10:27 am  
Anonymous Jono said...

Belich just didnt piss off a segment of Pakeha society with his book/TV series. Te Ruki Kawiti's great grandson still holds a very strong grudge against Belich for promoting the particular revision that Kawiti set a trap for the British at the rear of Ruapekapeka, as opposed to the traditional narrative which saw the perfidious Brits attacking on the sabbath while Kawiti and his taua were at prayer.

I gave a paper at the NZAA conference in Westport based on thoughts about Ruapekapeka which have bubbled around inside my head for several years. The abstract follows, but doesnt say much:

"Accounts of the battle of Ruapekapeka Pa have tended to focus on the size and innovation of the fortification, in contrast to typical (or classic) Maori defensive works and approaches to warfare. In her 2003 book Taua, Angella Ballara followed the threads of Maori warfare from the mid to late prehistoric period into the early historic period and the co-called musket wars and described a continuity in Maori approaches to warfare, adapted to the use of muskets but by no means characterised by them. This paper identifies elements of continuity in the battle of Ruapekapeka of 1845-46 (which takes place shortly after Ballara concludes her study). It uses archaeological and historical sources to suggest an evolution rather than a revolution in Maori warfare, and that  for the combatants, adaptation  to fit the new circumstances went both ways".

Since then it has been fascinating to go through Smithyman's Atua Wera, slowly, time and toddler allowing, and follow the historical threads he weaves together (I assume Fred Manning is the main source for the parts dealing with the northern war and the role of Papahurihia/Atua Wera/Te Ngakihi). Especially as I hadnt previously given much thought to the adaptation of non-material cultural elements which might have been play during the war.

It seems strange to me that in my reasonably extensive reading about the northern war I havent yet come across anything which canvasses the depth of involvement of Maori prophetic/millenial religious thought. Heke's involvement with Atua Wera/Papahurihua/Te Ngakahi is fascinating given his apparantly honest (albeit troubled) Christian faith and deep and personal relationship with Henry Williams.

Its interesting to note the flag flying at Ruapekapeka as described by Cyprian Bridge featured the star and crescent moon (on a field of red and white), that prominent motif of Maori millenialism and independence.

Also, I have forwarded a link to your original post to Stuart Park but he is on holiday for another week. Maybe he will drop in and comment, as he is an interesting and gregarious fellow.

10:29 am  
Anonymous Jono said...

Belich just didnt piss off a segment of Pakeha society with his book/TV series. Te Ruki Kawiti's great grandson still holds a very strong grudge against Belich for promoting the particular revision that Kawiti set a trap for the British at the rear of Ruapekapeka, as opposed to the traditional narrative which saw the perfidious Brits attacking on the sabbath while Kawiti and his taua were at prayer.

I gave a paper at the NZAA conference in Westport based on thoughts about Ruapekapeka which have bubbled around inside my head for several years. The abstract follows, but doesnt say much:

"Accounts of the battle of Ruapekapeka Pa have tended to focus on the size and innovation of the fortification, in contrast to typical (or classic) Maori defensive works and approaches to warfare. In her 2003 book Taua, Angella Ballara followed the threads of Maori warfare from the mid to late prehistoric period into the early historic period and the co-called musket wars and described a continuity in Maori approaches to warfare, adapted to the use of muskets but by no means characterised by them. This paper identifies elements of continuity in the battle of Ruapekapeka of 1845-46 (which takes place shortly after Ballara concludes her study). It uses archaeological and historical sources to suggest an evolution rather than a revolution in Maori warfare, and that  for the combatants, adaptation  to fit the new circumstances went both ways".

10:29 am  
Anonymous Jono said...

Since then it has been fascinating to go through Smithyman's Atua Wera, slowly, time and toddler allowing, and follow the historical threads he weaves together (I assume Fred Manning is the main source for the parts dealing with the northern war and the role of Papahurihia/Atua Wera/Te Ngakihi). Especially as I hadnt previously given much thought to the adaptation of non-material cultural elements which might have been play during the war.

It seems strange to me that in my reasonably extensive reading about the northern war I havent yet come across anything which canvasses the depth of involvement of Maori prophetic/millenial religious thought. Heke's involvement with Atua Wera/Papahurihua/Te Ngakahi is fascinating given his apparantly honest (albeit troubled) Christian faith and deep and personal relationship with Henry Williams.

Its interesting to note the flag flying at Ruapekapeka as described by Cyprian Bridge featured the star and crescent moon (on a field of red and white), that prominent motif of Maori millenialism and independence.

Also, I have forwarded a link to your original post to Stuart Park but he is on holiday for another week. Maybe he will drop in and comment, as he is an interesting and gregarious fellow.

10:30 am  
Blogger maps said...

Thanks for the fascinating comments Jono. Mind if I pinch them for a post?

7:49 pm  
Anonymous Jono said...

Go for it, thanks for providing the opportunity and widening my reading!

7:56 pm  
Blogger Sandra - too heavy to stand on a soapbox, but undeterred said...

Fantastic post Maps, one of my favourites from your blog so far. I don't have anything to add to the discussion, but you have sparked my interest in unpeeling more layers of Wetville life.

12:11 am  
Blogger Stuart said...

I'm fascinated to see my article on Te Peeke o Aotearoa surfacing again. The banknote on show in Hamilton I think is the one from the Cambridge Museum collection, and I think the 1860 date error in the caption also comes from Cambridge.

My 1990s research was entirely museum and library based, starting with a cheque we purchased for Auckland Museum and the two banknotes Auckland Museum much already had. I have never tried to find the Maungakawa site, though I did visit the well documented Parliament site at Waharoa near Morrinsville. I don't know where Rewehetiki is. Given your GPS doesn't know, can you explain in simple terms that someone who is now a Northlander can follow?

In fact, while writing this I have also been trying to search myself, and I have found a recorded archaeological site T14/90, which is a flour mill and dam at a place that Quickmap records as 'Tamehana's Dam', east of Te Miro, so I guess that must be it. Just goes to show what Reading the Maps can do!

1:57 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Thanks very much for the comment Stuart - and thanks for writing such a fine essay in the first place! It's a pity that the New Zealand Journal of History's back issues aren't online, like the back issues of the Journal of the Polynesian Society. Like you, I visisted the second location of the parliament. It wasn't too hard to find: these days it forms a prominent part of the Morrinsville Heriate Trail...

1:46 am  
Blogger scott davidson said...

Some pretty designs alright. Doing the painting yourselves is more fun but a good place for ideas for more design is this site of wahooart.com, that I use to help with my wall decorations.
You can browse for a painting like this The tree, by 20th century Czech artist, Frantisek Kupka, for example, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LHUQV , that can be ordered on line and delivered to you.

8:37 pm  

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